Introduction on E-Governance and Developing Countries - Paper By Michiel Backus

This is one of the earlier papers on e-Governance as a concept that extends beyond technology. While it might have a little taste of technology determinism, I feel that its frameworks in the study of e-Governance is pretty concrete, in particularly the few adaptations from the famous Gartner 2000 study. One of these frameworks is illustrated in this 4-stage model, where governments progress through a serious of technology adoption that allows it to use technology more and more as a tran formative force.

Looking at country laws as an example, 

  • Phase 1 (Information) might be the mere publication of laws and cases- taking into consideration that it is difficult to find the state of laws in many developing countries. 

  • Phase 2 (Interaction) might be the feedback from the general public about the state of the laws, unfair implementation, or a complaints machanism. 

  • Phase 3 (Transaction) might include features like automation of court cases so that transactions can be done online, or submission of formal feedback in parliamentary sessions.

  • Phase 4 (Transformation) is probably the most difficult to predict in terms of  impact on the country, but I can imagine a best case scenario where rampant corruption could be controlled through an comprehensive check and balance system that utilizes a comprehensive system using ICT as a boost. Or, for example in the Philippines during the Estrada demonstration,  where millions of people (using mainly SMS as a mode for rally) massed up at the EDSA Shrine demanding Estrada's immediate resignation. 

Another observation I would like to point out too is that, while I think that the above framework is very useful in thinking about e-Governance, like many other things in life, it is not absolute. 

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